As a teacher, I knew that you should read aloud to children 2 years above their reading level. I decided that since Blake is beginning to read more and more on his own that it is time to start reading chapter books with him.
At this time, we do bedtime stories together... all four of us. Each of the boys gets to pick 2-3 books depending on how their behavior is before bedtime. We are now going to go back to having Richard read to one boy and me read to the other. We will switch every night who is reading to who. I am hoping that this will improve the focus on the stories, especially for Colby. It also gives us more of an opportunity to reader harder/higher stories with Blake. I also brought down my basket of level 1 readers for Blake to try to read on his own.
It blows my mind how well he is reading already. I had him writing an apology note the other day, long story, and was shocked at how well he was sounding out words. His writing was about the level of a 3rd quarter kindergartner. We are now having to buy 1st grade workbooks in order to find ones that provide him a challenge.
Colby loves to learn and read and do anything his brother is doing. He already knows most of his letter sounds and now is going around saying things like "milk... hmmmm does milk start with /k/ or /m/?" Colby is working hard on trying to learn to print his name and can pretty much get the C-o-l, but we are still working on the b and y.
I can say I am blessed with very smart children and I have to continue to challenge them to go to the next level. I just never thought that would mean a 4 year old reading books written for mid to end of the year kindergartners or reading chapter books to challenge him. I never expected to be helping my 2 year old correctly print his name because he wants to learn to do it.
Now to figure out what chapter books to read with Blake. I have the whole series of Junie B. Jones books since I read those to my classes. I'm leaning to Arthur Good Sports Chapter books, but I have only a fragmented series and they are out of print. I know a lot of people suggest the Magic Tree House series, but I'm tempted to leave that for when he can read on his own. What chapter books did you begin reading to your children?
I hope you take some time tonight to read aloud to your child, no matter how old they are (ok maybe not if they are adults or teens, but you know what I mean) reading books that are 2 reading levels above will help them grow as readers. Even if your child is an avid reader who reads to him/herself, when they hear books above their reading level it pushes their vocabulary and enforces good reading habits (something to think about!)